"As with the Omega2 and Omega2 Plus, the Pro will be able to take advantage of the OnionOS — a web-based GUI interface that hosts a number of apps that can be used to configure and control the board."
"[Onion Omega2 Pro offers] a self-contained platform with the processor, memory, storage, and Wi-Fi radio baked into a single board."
"Unlike the WiFi modules on the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black Wireless, it provides access point support and can simultaneously run a client session."
The Omega2 Pro is the next generation of our highly successful Omega2 and the most powerful IoT computer we’ve made yet. It is a standalone device – the processor, memory, gigabytes of storage, and Wi-Fi are all built-in, and it’s smaller than a breadboard.
The storage is pre-loaded with the OpenWrt embedded Linux distro, so getting started is as easy as plugging in a Micro USB cable for power and taking a few minutes to go through the browser-based setup wizard.
Since we first launched the original Omega in 2015, and later the Omega2, we’ve shipped tens of thousands of boards and listened carefully to the feedback from our users. The result is the Omega2 Pro, the latest iteration on our vision for an ideal IoT computer:
To get started, you only need the Omega2 Pro itself, a regular Micro USB cable, and your computer - no keyboards, monitors, or anything else. Take a few minutes to step through the browser-based setup wizard and you’re up and running.
Develop your project in your favorite language: Python, GoLang, NodeJS, PHP, C, C++, and many more are supported. There’s also a wealth of existing packages available so you don’t have to start from scratch.
When it’s time to show off your project, you can demo with confidence knowing any computer or wall charger can serve as a power source and you can make last-minute changes from any computer with a browser.
A common theme we heard from our users of previous Omega iterations was that they felt constrained by storage space. The gigabytes of storage on the Omega2 Pro will allow you to build rich, modern applications, with plenty of space to hold libraries, assets, media, and more.
|A. 30-pin expansion header||G. USB host|
|B. Battery connector||H. USB-to-serial|
|C. 8 GB eMMC||I. Full-color LED|
|D. Programmable button||J. Omega2 core|
|E. Power management||K. Chip antenna|
|F. Micro USB (power & serial)|
IoT is all about connectivity, and the Omega2 Pro specializes in Wi-Fi networking. The Wi-Fi interface can simultaneously host its own Wi-Fi access point and connect to existing Wi-Fi networks.
The addition of an Ethernet expansion board brings the Omega2 Pro into the world of wired networking as well.
An on-board battery management chip makes the Omega2 Pro compatible with LiPo batteries: they can be used as the main power source, and will be charged when the Omega is connected to USB power. Use a battery to make your project portable, or to act as a back-up power supply.
The on-board USB-to-serial chip provides reliable, always-on access to the Omega’s commandline, which is invaluable for debugging. Alternatively, securely connect to the commandline through the local network using SSH.
Along with the system status and Wi-Fi status LEDs, there is a full-color LED driven by a hardware pulse width modulation (PWM) controller, so animations and transitions are always smooth.
With extensive I/O, Omega2 Pro makes it easy to interface with other devices and components.
Onion Omega2 Pro expansion header pinout
On top of that, it’s compatible with the existing ecosystem of plug-and-play Omega2 expansions to add functionality.
Above expansions: NFC/RFID, ADC, GPS, OLED
Above expansions: Servo (PWM), Ethernet, Relay, Proto
|NFC/RFID||Standard 13.56 MHz RFID and NFC reader and writer|
|ADC||Four-channel, 16-bit analog to digital converter|
|GPS||Latitude and longitude from GPS satellites using the U-Blox NEO-6M module|
|OLED Screen||Low-power, 0.96” diagonal, monochrome display with 128 x 64 pixels|
|Servo (PWM)||Generate up to 16 different, free-running pulse-width-modulated signals|
|Relay||Two electromechanical relays for switching higher-power circuits up to 60 W|
|Ethernet||Wired 10/100 network connectivity via a standard Ethernet cable|
|Proto||A blank slate of 185 pads on which to solder your own circuit|
Hosted directly on the Omega2 Pro itself, OnionOS provides an intuitive user interface through your browser. Write code, run commands, and use apps to interact with your Omega2 Pro, no installation required.
OnionOS is based on Linux, so it supports modern programming languages, such as Python, GoLang, NodeJS, PHP, C, and C++, and you can leverage a huge number of existing software packages so you don’t have to build everything from scratch.
The Terminal app gives you a commandline interface directly from your browser.
The Terminal and Code Editor apps make OnionOS a development environment that works on any computer. With the OnionOS App Manager, you can install more OnionOS apps and do even more from your browser.
The Code Editor app makes development easy with syntax highlighting, auto-complete, and more.
This project builds on the success of our community, which is years in the making and thousands strong. They have contributed an enormous amount of examples, user cases, demos, questions, answers, and tutorials.
Our free project book has 22 projects, 28 tutorials, and 300+ pages.
We’ve been iterating on the Omega IoT computer since 2015. You’ll see the improvements we’ve made with the Omega2 Pro:
|Omega2 Pro||Omega2+ on Expansion Dock||Omega2 on Power Dock 2|
|Processor||580 MHz MIPS||580 MHz MIPS||580 MHz MIPS|
|Memory||512 MB||128 MB||64 MB|
|Storage||8 GB||32 MB||16 MB|
|Wi-Fi||2.4 GHz b/g/n Access Point & Client||2.4 GHz b/g/n Access Point & Client||2.4 GHz b/g/n Access Point & Client|
|Battery Management||LiPo (use and charge)||None||LiPo (use and charge)|
|USB 2.0 Host||Yes, one||Yes, one||Yes, one|
|Power Requirements||5 V, 500 mA USB||5 V, 500 mA USB||5 V, 500 mA USB|
Height comparison of Omega2 Pro (left) and Omega2 on Dock (right)
While the Omega2 Pro is in its own category as an IoT computer, it still stacks up pretty well against general-purpose single-board computers:
|Omega2 Pro||Raspberry Pi 3 B+||Beaglebone Black Wireless|
|Processor||580 MHz MIPS||1.4 GHz Cortex-A52||1 GHz Cortex-A8|
|Memory||512 MB||1 GB||512 MB|
|Storage||8 GB eMMC||None - microSD||4 GB eMMC|
|Wi-Fi||2.4 GHz b/g/n access point & client||2.4 GHz b/g/n client||2.4 GHz b/g/n client|
|Battery Management||LiPo (use and charge)||None||None|
|Power Requirements||5 V 0.5 A||5 V 2.5 A||5 V 0.5 A|
|Path to Production||Yes||No||Yes|
|Total Cost||$49 (includes US shipping)||$54 with microSD and power supply||$79|
Every Omega2 Pro unit will be manufactured in Shenzhen, China by a contract manufacturer (CM). We’ve been working with the CM since 2016 and have successfully produced tens of thousands of boards. Here’s how the process works.
To start, a sub-contractor printed circuit board (PCB) producer will fabricate the Omega2 Pro PCBs. This will be the longest part of manufacturing, taking about three weeks from start to finish. Once completed, the PCBs will be delivered to our CM who will inspect and electrically test all traces. In the meantime, our manufacturing team and the CM’s purchasing department will have amassed all of the discrete components required to build the Omega2 Pro.
Using a pick and place machine, all of the components will be placed on the PCBs. The PCBs will then be passed through a reflow oven to permanently attach the components. Visual inspection using an AOI (Automated Optical Inspection) machine is then done to make sure all components have been properly oriented and properly attached. The boards can then be called a PCBA (Assembled Printed Circuit Board).
Production samples of Omega2 Pro coming off the assembly line
We then move on to the most crucial task: testing! First up is basic electrical testing. After that, each unit will have a turn in the testing rig that connects to all of the I/Os.
The first test is what we call a “sanity test”: we’ll boot the device make sure the current draw is a normal value (anything otherwise would suggest a manufacturing defect) and that the device successfully boots into the bootloader (code that runs before the operating system – think of it like the Omega’s BIOS). Using the bootloader, we’ll test the operation of all of the GPIOs and confirm the network adapter’s MAC address. The device will then be rebooted into the Linux operating system to run self-test programs that ensure the correct firmware is installed, the eMMC storage can be detected and accessed, USB devices can be detected, and the Wi-Fi radio is properly calibrated for maximum range and data integrity.
The final test is to check that the device’s Wi-Fi access point is active and can be detected by other devices, and the access point name matches the MAC address of the device.
Units that don’t pass a step in this gauntlet of tests are marked and later inspected to find the root cause of the failure and improve the manufacturing process for the next run.
All Omega2 Pro devices will be shipped to our end customers from a fulfillment partner in the United States. Once manufacturing is completed, we’ll make a bulk shipment to the stateside fulfillment center. From there, the packages will be shipped out to our individual backers. For more information, you can refer to this useful guide to ordering, paying, and shipping.
All of the inherent risks of any electronics manufacturing endeavor apply to the Omega2 Pro – component availability may delay production, PCB production yield could be low, or assembly yield could be low, to name a few potential issues.
Having said that, this isn’t our first rodeo and we’re confident in our ability to deliver a quality product in the expected timeline. To that end, we’ve done our best to de-risk the Omega2 Pro project before it started:
We believe that honesty is the best policy and will keep our backers informed every step of the way. If we do encounter any hiccups, speed bumps, or road blocks, we will be open and transparent about the issues and how they affect our delivery timelines. We have done this before, and we will not stop until we have delivered everything!
Funding ends on Jan 31, 2019 at 03:59 PM PST (11:59 PM UTC)